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January 26, 2021
Message from the Mayor
Vaccination is key to beating this pandemic and returning to the activities and people we love. As vaccination efforts have ramped up in Lake County, we have received many questions about the vaccination rollout. The Q&A below begins with questions specific to Lake County before branching out to more general questions. The City of Highland Park does not have its own health department. However, we work closely with our partners at the Lake County Health Department (LCHD) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and we've based our FAQ on resources from LCHD, IDPH, and the CDC. Click the links in each answer to learn more.

Although it is frustrating that vaccine supply and appointments are limited, the City is working with county, state, and federal officials to obtain clarity around the vaccination process. Illinois' vaccine distribution process prioritizes those who are most at risk for severe illness, but at the same time, we are all eager to return to normal. The good news is that there will be enough vaccine for everyone, even if the process may take a little longer than we would like. Moving forward, you'll see a weekly vaccination update in our Tuesday eNews, and we also encourage you to sign up for weekly updates from the Lake County Health Department.

Don't see your question answered here? Email City staff at and we'll connect you with the public health agency that can best respond.

Thank you for all you've done over the past year to keep our families, friends, and neighbors safe during this uncertain time. Together - and with the help of safe and effective vaccines - we'll emerge from this pandemic a stronger community.
Nancy R. Rotering
Mayor, City of Highland Park, IL
Lake County Vaccination FAQ
What is the AllVax Portal?
The AllVax Portal at will help prioritize vaccine delivery by notifying registrants when they are eligible to schedule an appointment with the LCHD for their first or second dose. If you live or work in Lake County, you may register to be notified. You'll receive an email confirming your registration and weekly updates from LCHD.

Can I make my own appointment for a vaccine, or are all vaccines scheduled through the AllVax Portal?
LCHD's AllVax Portal will notify you when an appointment at an LCHD-coordinated facility is available, but you might be able to get an appointment through a medical or pharmacy provider, such as CVS, Walgreens, or Jewel-Osco. When your priority group is eligible, you may look for appointments at participating vaccination sites. The State of Illinois expects additional vaccination facilities to open soon.

When can I receive the vaccine?
Vaccination timelines are fluctuating due to supply. Right now, Phase 1A and Phase 1B are actively vaccinating. Individuals registered through the AllVax Portal will receive regular email updates throughout this process. Individuals in one of the eligible groups may also look for an appointment at an approved site. Because vaccine supply is limited, it's unfortunately not possible to provide a timeline for vaccination. More information on who is included in phases 1A and 1B can be found on IDPH's website.

Where will I be able to get vaccinated?
As vaccine inventories increase, vaccines will be more widely available at convenient locations such as retail pharmacies, doctors' offices, and state-run clinics. In addition to Lake County Health Department vaccination sites, you may be able to be vaccinated at:
  • Your primary care/other healthcare provider's office
  • Your hospital network or medical group
  • Jewel-Osco
  • Walgreens
  • CVS
If you are interested in being vaccinated at your doctor's office, medical group, or hospital network, please contact them directly to see if and how they will handle vaccination to members of the public.

I'm having a hard time registering with AllVax. Who can help?
Click here to view video tutorials to assist you with your registration. If you are having difficulty registering online, you may call LCHD at 847.377.8130.

How can business owners promote the AllVax Portal to employees?
LCHD has developed flyers to make it easier for everyone living or working in Lake County to get signed up! Please post to share with your employees.

Who can answer questions about the AllVax Portal?
Please email the Lake County Health Department at with any questions you might have.

How can I help with vaccine distribution efforts?
Did you know that the Lake County Health Department offers opportunities for medical and non-medical personnel to support vaccination efforts? Click here to learn about the Lake County Medical Reserve Corps.
Priority Groups
What are the different vaccination phases?
The Lake County Health Department is prioritizing vaccine delivery based on the guidance of the Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC. IDPH has begun vaccinating individuals who are eligible as part of Phase 1A and Phase 1B. Phase 1A includes frontline healthcare workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B includes more frontline essential workers and residents age 65+. IDPH is expected to publish eligibility information for Phase 1C and Phase 2 shortly. Click here to learn more about the IDPH vaccination phases.

Why is LCHD still only vaccinating Phase 1A if the State of Illinois has authorized Phase 1B vaccinations?
While vaccine supply continues to be limited, LCHD is focused on completing vaccinations for Phase 1A-eligible individuals.

When will vaccine supply in Lake County increase?
The City has been working closely with LCHD and IDPH to understand the vaccine delivery process. Because LCHD invested in ultracold freezers, it is able to accept direct shipments of vaccine doses, which puts it at a relative advantage. However, demand for vaccine far exceeds supply, and this issue is not limited to Illinois. We expect this to be addressed in a timely fashion through the new National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response, which creates a new federal office to coordinate across federal agencies and with States.

I am registered on AllVax and belong to group 1A. Why haven't I been notified to schedule an appointment?
LCHD releases vaccination appointments based on available supply. Please continue to check with AllVax for appointment availability.

Why has my friend, neighbor, or coworker received a vaccination? I don't think they belong to a 1A or 1B group.
IDPH, LCHD, and partner vaccination sites are committed to following the IDPH vaccination phases. Individual cases - such as essential workers juggling multiple jobs in which one fits into a priority group - may result in individuals appearing to be vaccinated ahead of schedule. In the end, what's most important is to vaccinate as many people as possible.

I'm part of an eligible priority group, but I can't find a facility with an available appointment. What should I do?
Make sure you are registered with the AllVax Portal and keep checking back for vaccination locations. Appointment times will be made available at vaccination centers.

Will vaccines for teachers be prioritized as part of Phase 1B?
Yes, teachers are prioritized as frontline workers. Local school districts 106, 109, 112, and 113 have been working with Walgreens to create a vaccination pod to ensure teachers and staff are vaccinated as soon as possible. This effort will supplement vaccination by LCHD.

This process is frustrating and confusing! What steps are being taken to make this process easier?
This is a major public health undertaking that is being coordinated in real-time. With the President's new National Strategy to fight COVID-19, state and local health departments expect increased coordination across all agencies. By increasing national supply and scaling distribution efforts, state and local health departments will be better positioned to vaccinate their residents. Currently, demand is far higher than the supply of the vaccine. As vaccine inventories grow and meet demand levels, it will become easier to schedule appointments to receive the vaccine.
About the Approved Vaccines
Where can I learn more about the science behind the vaccines?
The two approved vaccines are messenger RNA, or mRNA, vaccines. Learn more about mRNA vaccines. Click here to learn more about other types of vaccines.

Where can I learn more about the FDA authorization process?

Do I need to get both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are a two-shot regimen. The first serves as a primer to begin building protection. The second shot is required for full protection.

If I've recovered from COVID-19, should I still be vaccinated?
The CDC recommends vaccination even if you have recovered from a case of COVID-19. Re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, and it's too early to tell how long natural immunity may last.

Can I obtain the vaccine privately by purchasing it online or from a supplier?
The COVID-19 vaccine is free. You cannot purchase doses yourself. However, email scams promising COVID-19 vaccine doses have been reported. These scams may entice individuals to share health, personal, and financial information through fraudulent claims about vaccine availability. Click here for more information.
Vaccine Safety
Are the vaccines safe?
Yes, data regarding safety has been thoroughly reviewed by the FDA. The approved vaccines have met the same standards as any other vaccines. The CDC will continue to monitor vaccine distribution for safety issues.

How are public health officials tracking post-vaccination safety?
The CDC has launched a new app, v-safe, to rapidly detect any safety issues with COVID-19 vaccines. Once you download the app, you'll be prompted to enter information about when you received your COVID-19 vaccination and the type of vaccine you received. You'll then receive check-in text messages to report any side effects. The CDC will also utilize the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and National Healthcare Safety Network to track reporting of adverse reactions from across the country.

If I experience an adverse reaction to the vaccine, what should I do?
Contact your healthcare provider. If you experience a medical emergency, call 911. Individuals can also report an adverse event online to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Will the vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?
No, because none of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development contain the live virus that causes COVID-19.
Post-Vaccination Guidance
Are there side effects to the vaccine?
Vaccines may cause side effects in some, such as sore muscles, tiredness, or mild fever. For most people, side effects last no longer than a day or two.

Should I watch out for any serious side effects?
If you experience a serious reaction such as not being to breathe, call 911 or go to the ER.

What should I do after my vaccination?
Continue to follow the 3Ws: wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth, watch your distance and stay six feet from others, and wash your hands often. It's important to protect yourself and others. Remember, it will take time for everyone to get vaccinated.

The City of Highland Park does not have its own health department. The information in this email is derived from the Lake County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Click the links in each Q&A response to view the source information. Questions pertaining to the distribution, scheduling, or administration of the vaccine should be directed to the Lake County Health Department. The City does not schedule appointments for or administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Tier 1 Mitigations In Effect
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced that Region 9 (Lake and McHenry Counties) has met the requirements necessary to move to Tier 1 of resurgence mitigations, effective immediately. Learn more.
Winter Storm Update
Mild to moderate snow will continue throughout the morning before tapering off this afternoon, Tuesday, January 26. Please exercise caution if traveling during winter weather conditions. Public Works crews worked throughout the night to clear snow, and are currently conducting snow removal with 10 routes operating throughout the City. Street plowing operations will continue overnight from January 26 into January 27 until all streets are passable and all parking areas have been cleared.

Due to snowfall of greater than 4" during this winter storm, the City will clear public sidewalks once streets are plowed. Snow removal operations typically commence with the clearing of the City's main arterial routes and then move to side streets and cul-de-sacs. Visit to learn more about the City's snow and ice control plan.

To permit City plows to most effectively clear City streets, it is recommended that residents avoid parking on the street during any significant snowfall until after the City has completed its snow removal operations. As a reminder, on-street parking is prohibited during the hours of 2:00 AM to 6:00 AM from December 1 through March 31.

To report a Public Works concern during business hours, please contact Public Works at 847.432.0807, or after hours please contact Police Non-Emergency at 847.432.7730. To report an emergency, please dial 911.
COVID-19 Resources